Robotics have been making leaps and bounds, but their applications as an actual consumer product have been limited. Until now, thanks an IndieGoGo funded project called JIBO.
Created by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal of MIT, JIBO is being hailed as the first “family” robot. It is meant as more than an appliance, the crowdfunded project explains. It is a companion, meant to simulate realistic interaction and tailor itself to the personality of the humans around it.
It recognizes faces, which allows it to adapt to each person and keep them in their systems. It adapts to each person’s routine and preferences, acting like a personal assistant to each in the household. Multiple cameras and microphones allows it to track you anywhere in a room, so you can interact from any point around it.
Artificial Intelligence and the way it learns is what has really set this apart as an exciting venture. Obviously, the experiments into A.I. have been vast. The JIBO shows how far the concept has managed to come in such a short amount of time, and how it is being applied to every day use.
Notifications, video calling, interactive or independent camera work, companionable interaction, automated tasks and more are all possible. Watching the video shows just how impressive the technology has become.
Seriously, watch that video and tell me your heart doesn’t melt. That thing is adorable; it is like having your very own WALL-E.
The truly remarkable part about JIBO isn’t what it is now, however. It is what it will be (and what robotics will be) twenty, fifty or a hundred years from now. We are seeing true breakthroughs in a field that have been stagnant for some time.
At the same time, we are seeing huge jumps in virtual reality, in surgical robotics, in consumer connective devices, in automobiles…the increase in technological function is staggering.
JIBO has already gone seven times over its funding goal, currently at over $700,000 donated. If you would like to be a part of the project, you can support it for as little as $7. Or get your own JIBO for $499, to ship in 2015.
They also have a buy one give one that donates devices to a children’s hospital in Boston. Or you can buy a developer’s pack of 11 for an entire team.